Fla. Senate panel OKs ban on texting-while-driving

Published On: Mar 06 2013 04:47:23 PM EST
Updated On: Mar 06 2013 07:17:51 PM EST
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

A Senate panel has unanimously approved a bill imposing a statewide ban on texting while driving. But eventual approval by the House is far from sure.

The Senate Communications committee on Wednesday voted 9-0 for the bill (SB 52). The bill outlaws texting by drivers but exempts police and other emergency vehicles.

The proposed law makes texting subject to secondary enforcement. Police could cite drivers for it only if they had been pulled over for another violation such as speeding. A violation would lead to a fine and -- if texting resulted in a crash -- the driver would be assessed six points. Points lead to increased insurance rates.

The measure has failed three years in a row because critics in the House have likened it to needless government intrusion.

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